Number95

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  1. Hello how are you?

    1. Show previous comments  13 more
    2. Dio Brando

      Dio Brando

      Ahh I see I do use a Lightsworn Engine in my Chaos deck 

    3. Number95

      Number95

      I still play Judgment Dragon in my Lightsworn deck. I guess I'm just old school like that.

    4. Dio Brando

      Dio Brando

      Yeah I use offerings to the Doomed in my Cyberse deck 

  2. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Hm, I didn't know that. I didn't know that Discord was posing as Grogar, and it seems that Grogar himself hasn't made an official appearance in the show. I don't mind spoilers though, and that is especially the case with this show. Tying with the comment earlier about Chrysalis still thinking of herself as queen, it's worth noting that she didn't even try to give orders to Tirek or Cozy Glow. At the very least, Cozy Glow can be given some credit for trying to take charge. Yes, a line or two would've been nice, but I've decided to be generous and just let that slide. The show has much bigger problems to me. Celestia and Luna being able to control celestial bodies should have major impacts on other species and countries. Ponies were also already able to do just that without the alicorns, and that in a way would make the ponies the most important species on the planet. Perhaps these abilities should never have existed in the show due to the various implications they carry, and that's why I wonder what Lauren Faust had in mind with Celestia and Luna. And trying to make sense of "The Cutie Re-mark" is a waste of time and effort.
  3. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Frenemies We start with Cozy Glow, Tirek, and Chrysalis annoying Grogar. Chrysalis’s comment is rather notable in that she calls herself a queen, but she has already lost all of her followers as well as her territory, so that title is worthless. It’s too bad she hasn’t come up with any ideas for trying to kill the Mane 6, so she doesn’t really live up to her own title. A royal who couldn’t be bothered to contribute to her own goal? That sure sounds familiar. Grogar decides to leave so the three can learn how to live with and tolerate each other and not quickly fall apart when finally deciding to attack the Mane 6. I wouldn’t be surprised if the three villains became a better team than the alicorn sisters, not that it would take much to surpass them in the first place. Cozy Glow places herself in charge likely due to having some experience with friendship and thus knowing at least a thing or two about teamwork. She asks the other two to join her in a meeting. Chrysalis’s scene was a tad amusing. She was confiding in a piece of wood, so she wasn’t interested in acquainting herself with her teammates. And she was only interested in the meeting after Cozy Glow mentioned cupcakes. There’s the meeting between the three villains, and they can’t bring themselves to get along with each other. Tirek is trying to absorb Chrysalis’s magic, and they’re both annoyed with Cozy Glow constangly placing herself in charge. it seems that Tirek isn’t absorbing that much magic if Chrysalis doesn’t seem to feel any physical pain. By the way, has Tirek tried to absorb Grogar’s magic? It doesn’t look like an explanation was given at any point, but I’ll assume that Grogar weakened Tirek after pulling him from Tartarus. Or Grogar is powerful enough to rebuff any of Tirek’s advances. Celestia now has even less of an excuse to chicken out of a confrontation with Tirek back in season 4, not that she ever had an excuse in the first place. Cozy Glow attempts to encourage teamwork and bring them all together through a villain song. I’m always up for a villain song, especially one that is fun and sinister. Too bad that doesn’t help my opinion of the show. Anyways, things don’t go well at first as Tirek and Chrysalis intentionally screw over the other during some trust exercises. The villains seem to be in agreement at some point in the song, but they don’t take long to fall apart afterward, and it’s quite notable in the case of Cozy Glow as she insists on being the boss. Grogar appears after the song and is still disappointed in their continuing lack of unity, so he decides to help them by giving them an assignment to see if they can work together to steal some magical artifact. Since his underlings have big egos as they have each come close to victory at least once at some point (I’m gonna take another shot at the alicorn sisters being so incompetent at failing to do anything about any of these villains), they each argue over which one of them should lead this operation. Chrysalis even claims that she almost conquered Equestria “several times”, but that only happened at the end of season 2. You could argue that capturing the important figures of Equestria at the end of season 6 could count, but she didn’t attempt any conquest that time unlike season 2. In any case, twice hardly means several times. Grogar ultimately puts his foot down and points out that they all failed to achieve their goals anyways. Time for a flashback. Grogar talks about one of his old magical artifacts, the Bewitching Bell. Gusty the Great stole and hid it on top of a mountain as the bell couldn’t be destroyed, but Grogar has discovered the bell’s location. Chrysalis mocks the easiness of the assignment, but since we’re not even halfway through the episode, it’s obviously gonna be pretty tough. Not that there’s a reason for the task to be easy in the first place unless the security was handled by the alicorn sisters. If the alicorn sisters handled the security around the Bewitching Bell, the villains would simply walk up to the bell, steal it, and then after a long period of time be surprised to learn that the place was supposed to have security after Celestia or Luna confronts them about this. How about this instead? Let’s say Celestia did set up a bunch of traps and various kinds of securities around the bell. And the traps did go off, but Celestia’s luck is about as good as Wile E. Coyote’s, so the traps immediately collapse upon trigger and even destroy each other, leaving the villains dumbfounded about the awful security and leaving them unopposed. Bonus points if pieces of the trap(s) flew off the mountain and later strike Celestia. Anyways, the three villains head to Mt. Everhoof. Cozy Glow even came up with a plan to get to the top of the mountain, but Tirek and Chrysalis immediately ditch her. She ends up throwing away her plan as a result. I don’t know why she’d want to waste it even if she wouldn’t immediately use it, but whatever. Chrysalis tries to fly to the top, but the winds initially impede her progress too much, so she lands and continues her journey by walking and transforming into various animals to cross various terrains. She eventually reaches a point where she was to fly to the top, but the winds are too strong and blow her back. If the wind was conjured by Celestia, it would just blow Chrysalis to the artifact. How would the wind affect a unicorn who magically carries herself like Starlight did? Would Starlight have been able to use her magic to push through the wind? Cozy Glow hikes up the mountain and encounters the guard Rusty Bucket, who isn’t curious about a lone filly for some reason. She asks for the guard’s help, but the guard continuously declines as he knows that getting to the mountain peak will be difficult and dangerous. If the guard was hired by Princess Celestia, he would have accidentally sent Cozy Glow directions to the bell. Does the guard know about the Bewitching Bell, by the way? Cozy Glow tries to befriend him to later convince him to take her to the top, but Rusty Bucket still declines and reasons that a friend wouldn’t ask him to do something he shouldn’t. He even read about that from a copy of the Journal of Friendship which pisses off Cozy Glow, and that was an admittedly amusing scene. Cozy Glow gets so pissed off and screams, which triggers an avalanche that creates a snowball and carries her off the mountain. It was also quite amusing to see Rusty Bucket shrug off Cozy Glow getting carried away. Tirek starts his trek by blowing some dirt into the wind, and the dirt bounces off a magical barrier and immediately hits his face. I’m not sure why there’d be a barrier for blown dirt but not walking intruders. Maybe the barrier was meant to block projectiles. If that barrier was casted by Princess Celestia, it would somehow block out all of the good guys while leading the villains to the artifact. Good thing Celestia wasn’t responsible for setting up the security around Mt. Everhoof, right? Anyways, Tirek figured out that getting to the top was impossible, so he waited for Chrysalis and Cozy Glow to fail so he can get some foresight about the security. There was also an amusing scene of Tirek and Cozy Glow getting into a childish argument with the two insulting each other. Tirek even points at Cozy Glow while mocking her about how the she sleeps. Chrysalis eventually returns and admits that the three will need to work together. The villains gather around Tirek’s campfire and start to bond over their attempted conquest over Equestria, their hatred for the Mane 6 (especially Twilight), and their desire for revenge. This is sad. I think this bonding scene was fine as it gave them something to like about each other and a common goal to work toward, but there’s something else I feel like bitching about. This scene between the villains is actually more endearing than any scene that ever occurred between Celestia and Luna. That’s right. Nine seasons of the alicorn sisters being reunited, and they never had a moment as tender as this. What did the sisters ever unite over other than the fact that they’re sisters? Take their lack of interaction over the show into consideration, and the relationship between the sisters feels emptier and less endearing than this one moment between the villains. What’s also pitiful is that the villains care more about mocking Twilight and getting back at the Mane 6 instead of a pair of long-lived alicorns. Maybe the villains are also aware of how bad Celestia and Luna are at their jobs. Even if the villains end up being unaware of the alicorn sisters because of how much trouble the Mane 6 caused, that still doesn’t bode well for their perceptions of the sisters since – well – they’re so unaware of the alicorn sisters when thinking about trying to conquer Equestria. Now that the three villains trust each other a little, the three villains try again to climb to the top of Mt. Everhoof, and they have much less trouble getting to their destination this time. They even encounter Rusty Bucket, who isn’t much of a guard as they don’t use much effort to deal with him. The only reason Cozy Glow couldn’t get past him was because she’s physically weaker and also because she had no way of actually climbing up the mountain. When they finally reach the top, they encounter another magical barrier blocking their entry. The only way through is for Tirek to absorb Chrysalis’s magic and blast a hole in the barrier, but Chrysalis is rightfully reluctant since they aren’t actually friends. Tirek promises to return the magic, and since they don’t have any better options for finishing this task, Chrysalis reluctantly allows Tirek to take her magic. Tirek blasts the barrier, but only Cozy Glow is small enough to fly through the hole to take the bell. He even notes that he couldn’t keep the barrier open forever, but couldn’t he stop for a little while and make a hole again after Cozy Glow returns with the bell? After Cozy Glow returns, Tirek initially seems to refuse to return Chrysalis’s magic, and Chrysalis likewise also distrusts Tirek, but he eventually gives in. The three villains finally realize the power of teamwork, but they’re still not interested in being friends as the idea of genuine friendship disgusts them. Thankfully, today’s lesson hasn’t been completely lost on them, so they agree to continue working together as they all don’t like the Mane 6 as well as Grogar for being too powerful. They agree to break up this team after dealing with the two problems. Take note that they didn’t think of needing to deal with Celestia and Luna. They definitely don’t see the sisters as a threat. We get to the ending, and the three villains lie about failing to get the bell. Grogar gets pissed but is also pleased that the villains have learned to work as a team. How is he gonna check to see if they even accomplished that? Maybe he plans to just observe them in the future because a lack of unity will be obvious. And the Bewitching Bell ends the episode with a glow. They better hope Grogar never notices the glow. I have to admit, this episode by itself is pretty good. We see mulitple villains interacting with each other, and since they never really got to know each other (even though Cozy Glow and Tirek spent some time in Tartarus together, but whatever) while wanting Equestria for themselves, it would make sense for them to despise each other. And even though they learned about the power of teamwork, they still weren’t interested in being in each other’s lives outside of helping with their respective goals. So, it made sense for them to not want to be friends. Not even in the case of Cozy Glow who may have read about friendship and went to the School of Friendship, but she was never interested in friendship for its own sake or virtue. The episode also did well in showing that teamwork is still possible even between teammates who don’t like each other that much because teamwork means just that: working as a team. It doesn’t exactly mean friendship, which would require greater emotional input. If anything, they had to set their emotions aside in this case. One interesting bit of irony is that Chrysalis felt reinvigorated after their teamwork and compared the experience to formerly running her Changeling empire. There had to be some amount of teamwork during her time as their queen because the empire would otherwise have fallen apart like this trio of villains almost did when refusing to get along with each other. She also didn’t want the “magic of friendship” to infect herself like it did with her hive, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were Changeling minions who were friends with each other even during Chrysalis’s reign. Another bit of irony is that Grogar himself isn’t playing the teamwork card. He doesn’t even trust his minions as he doesn’t share much info about his plans with them (and he even said himself that he didn’t trust them at the beginning of the episode), and he also didn’t go with them to retrieve his bell. He might just care more about having minions work for him instead. Aside from Chrysalis’s high and mighty attitude, it was also nice to see the villains’ personalities bounce off of each other. In actuality, they all think highly of themselves. Chrysalis was a former queen and expects things to be done when she desires, and I’ll be generous and overlook the fact that we never saw her performing as a queen. At least she’s willing to try and complete her own tasks. Tirek showed some cunningness like at the beginning of “Twilight’s Kingdom” such as knowing that the task couldn’t be completed alone and waited for the others to fail so he can learn from their mistakes while also avoiding humiliation. Cozy Glow is just a filly and fully aware of that, and she wants to abuse that image while being oblivious to how others see her. And both Tirek and Chrysalis can’t stand Cozy Glow because Cozy Glow is an annoying filly. Too bad I don’t care. I’ve already said that the show was already past the point of redemption with poor season finales that must carry over into the next season, so I don’t think any better of the show even though I thought positively of “Frenemies”. It’s also too bad this episode kept reminding me of the show’s wasted potential, namely the all the wasted potential with Celestia and Luna. What does it say about the show that three villains in this episode got to display some genuine unity and teamwork, but the alicorn sisters have never done the same at any point? Even their focus episode featured them barely knowing each other, so whatever bond was supposed to be featured is much weaker than this villainous bond. To top it off, the villains still don’t like each other, but they’ve agreed to this temporary union. This one episode featured a more meaningful relationship between three villains than whatever was attempted with the half-assed episodes the sisters got. That might have been fine if the show never bothered using Celestia and Luna, though the wasted potential still would have been noticeable since the series premiered already established the two characters as sisters. But this waste is even worse as the sisters have appeared at multiple points in the show without doing anything productive.
  4. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I don't know what it's like for a ruler to own a school, so I won't say anything about that. This does remind me of "School Daze", and that episode also said that Celestia couldn't exert her own authority over any school in Equestria. Still, I wouldn't want Celestia to simply exert her own authority about the decisions she makes since it won't sound so different from "because I said so." But you do make a good point about Inkwell considering the idea to leave the school since that don't make an issue out of whatever kind of authority Celestia may or may not have, so that probably would work better. I do prefer your idea of a story that show's the pony citizens' perspectives of Princess Celestia, assuming the story actually shows Celestia being a major source of help to the ponies. Celestia doesn't really get the chance to show her power, and this would be better than having other ponies show their "powers" so Celestia doesn't overshadow them. I mean, Celestia has never really overshadowed anyone in the show, but the cartoon writers keep thinking otherwise. I would rather have a wise, powerful, and competent Celestia, but that's just one viewer's preference. My thoughts about the comic are just thoughts about how another writer tried to handle her. So, yes, you are right about the comic not letting Celestia be as impressive as she should be, but I explained a bit more of my thoughts below. Making a contribution by helping fend off an invasion is definitely something she hasn't always done in the show. If anything, she only did it at the beginning of season 9, though that of course comes with its share of problems. We don't really learn anything about whatever that event in the comic was, but I'm just pointing out even something like this is more than what the cartoon would normally allow. You might say that it only shows that she isn't completely useless, and I don't disagree with this scene not actually doing that much in terms of Celestia's capabilities, but I'd rather take that over her being completely useless. I think I have said that there isn't much to Princess Luna due to her terribly vague backstory and the "modern day" episodes not actually saying that much about her as a "person", and she becomes rather plain as a result. Well, except that she and Celestia don't know each other that well. What are you referring to, exactly? As for what it says about Celestia, you said earlier that the ponies she talked to could've instead laid on their beds, arrived at the same conclusions without Celestia's input, and the comic wouldn't be any different for that. Well, I disagree, of course. If those ponies arrived to those conclusions without Celestia's input, that already meant Celestia didn't try to help Inkwell stick around as she didn't try to convince those ponies about Inkwell's helpfulness, and it also meant that Celestia wasn't needed for anything in the story. Celestia's reminders to those ponies show that she has been aware of Inkwell's activities and hasn't forgotten what Inkwell has done. As in, the comic actually shows Celestia knowing and being a friend to another pony and what Celestia would do for a friend. And before you mention Twilight, I'm just going to point out yet again that Celestia has never helped her, and she has also barely been present in Twilight's life. Oh, I guess she helped Twilight's play, but that's literally it. That episode didn't tell us anything about how Celestia felt about Twilight. And how has Celestia helped Luna, again? Remember that "Magic Sheep" didn't bother including Celestia. Essentially, Princess Celestia did more for this one-shot pony than certain major ponies in the show. I don't know about you, but that's already a pretty bad strike against the show. If you disagree, that's understandable. I'm just saying why I don't agree.
  5. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    We've discussed more than a few times about the biggest problem with Celestia in the show is that there's more interest in saying what she can't do instead of showing what she can do. And this comic does at least show what Celestia is able to do, which was convince some other ponies of Inkwell's capabilities. I actually liked how Celestia even approached the task of convincing the other ponies, which was asking them to remember what Inkwell did for them instead of simply exerting her authority and declaring what Inkwell did so those other ponies would be able to see everything for themselves. And sure, Celestia needed help to deal with some invasion, but I personally never minded if she wasn't all-powerful. At least she made an apparent contribution during that struggle. The teacher didn't want to retire yet, at least according to Celestia. But the comic didn't exactly show the teacher wanting to retire, so whatever. I agree that a story like this is too small for Celestia, but that doesn't make it bad to me. At the very least, this met my minimum requirements for a serviceable Princess Celestia story, which is showing what she can do and letting her do what she can to reach a desired goal while also revealing something about her. I know I would have minded this comic even less if the comics picked up the show's slack.
  6. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I haven't read the books, so I won't comment on those. As for Celestia's comic, I thought it was decent enough as it at least gave some focus to Celestia. She was able to think of a way to keep an apparently dotty teacher around by appealing to the students' parents. Sure, that teacher wasn't relevant to the cartoon, but I already went into the comics thinking that the comics were set in an alternate universe as I doubt the people on the show would bother reading the comics. However, the one major complaint I also have about the comic is that it isn't completely about Celestia herself. This complaint would probably be much smaller if she had ever gotten more focus anywhere else or even in another standalone comic issue, but this lack of focus on Celestia anywhere else unintentionally compounded the problem. And from the looks of the comics, Celestia and Luna don't receive much attention anyways. Overall, I don't think Celestia's micro-issue was bad, and I personally thought it was better at helping Celestia than the episode "Horse Play", but then again I guess I'm able to separate that single issue from the show.
  7. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Honestly, I don't know whether to say the comics are worth it or not. I did buy some of the comics in TPB form, but I only got the micro-series, some of the Friendship is Magic titles (up to issue 24), and some of the Friends Forever titles (also up to issue 24). I have not read any of the other MLP comics, and I don't know which issues the two images are from. Why did I buy the comics at first? They came out during a time when I still had some amount of genuine interest in the show, and I wanted to see the other kinds of weird situations the pony characters could be put in. I suppose I was even hoping that the comics would handle the bigger stories better than the show could as I was more interested in the more magical aspect of MLP, and I was also hoping that maybe the alicorn sisters could get more spotlight somewhere else. Maybe the show wouldn't bother with them, but at least the comics tie-in would be something. I also quite like the artwork I saw. One of the biggest positives of the show is its simple and stylized art direction, looking bright, colorful, and cute while still letting the villains look villainous. The comic artwork doesn't quite look like the show, and I'm not sure the show's exact art would translate that well to comic form, but the characters were still very recognizable. However, there are some comics with art that I didn't like too much. As with the show, the slice-of-life stories are better than the bigger and "epic" stories. Even though the "epic" comic stories weren't as good as I would have liked, I do like the comic stories better than the show's "epic" stories for the most part for a two reasons. One of them is the climactic showdown. The show rarely, if ever, lets the characters fight each other somehow, with the only good example being in "Shadow Play". Otherwise, the villains would show up and immediately get blasted away. The comics at the very least allow some kind of showdown to happen and not end so quickly. The other is that the princesses are actually given something to do, as in they don't get dragged into the stories and then aren't immediately thrown out the window for the sake of the Mane 6. I stopped buying the comics not just because of my declining interest in the show, but also because the comics are always gonna pull from the show. For example, I've read the premises of some of the later issues, and they have Starlight and the School of Friendship, which are things I'm not that terribly interested in, so I didn't have a reason to continue reading them even if the comics aren't in continuity with the show. If you're going to read the comics, you'll have to take them as a completely separate series from the show. They may use the same characters, but it's clear that the creative team behind the show never read the comics as the comics are never referenced in any way. I wouldn't be surprised if the comic writers didn't see the entire show, but I imagine that they might have seen at least a few episodes to get a feel for the show. In other words, the comics are essentially an alternate universe to me. The smaller slice-of-life stories are, for the most part, still enjoyable, so I would say give the micro-series and Friends Forever a look if you're interested enough. There might even be ways to read the comics online if you don't wanna pay for them. I'm not sure if I'll check out the rest of Friends Forever, though. Can you expand on this?
  8. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I'd say there's a fair chance that I'll cover it, but I also want to add that I'm not making any promises.
  9. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Are you saying that you haven't seen all of season 9 yet? If so, how much of it have you seen? Celestia was the only one who was representing the parents. Luna was scowling about her sister not following her suggestions. Since this is MLP:FiM, you know how well that would have turned out. I think the episode's premise could have worked better if the guards were in on the game as well. At the very least, that would line up with the fun and zany premise that the writers and voice actresses wanted to work with. I also wouldn't mind if the parents were involved so there could be more interaction between the family including Spike, and the whole family could also be participating in the activity they did some number of years ago. It might be interesting to see how the parents react to Spike winning the contest. As for the defenses not working at the end of the season, I'm guessing that's the case. For better or worse, the nameless guards would usually get swatted aside by the enemies to prove the latter's power. That's not so different from the good guys swatting aside the nameless evil minions. That's why the named characters who are also tasked with guarding should be allowed to do their jobs, but that's not what the show does. There's also the option of the nameless guards confronting the minions, and that might be a way to show the castle's defenses. As I've said before, I don't even think the show even pandered to the Luna fans that well. Aside from being a counselor in various pony's dreams, Luna hasn't done much else in the show. I guess that's better than being consistently stupid like Celestia, but that's such a backhanded compliment.
  10. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Sparkle’s Seven This episode may be marked as the show’s 200th episode, but the episode didn’t feel it was celebrating anything like “Slice of Life” did with the background characters (that I am admittedly indifferent to) resonating with viewers. Since the episode’s script had contributions from the main characters’ voice actresses, I’m guessing that the voice actresses wanted to do certain things with the characters they played for the show’s 200th episode whether it’s having characters involved in a zany heist, the zany plans the characters would come up with, or showing Spike’s relationship with Twilight Sparkle. Spike goes to Twilight with a scroll from Shining Armor concerning a toy crown they both previously competed over as fillies. According to Twilight, their parents used a chart to record every time either of the siblings did something “special” over the course of a week, and the one with more stars got to wear the crown presumably for a week or until the other sibling won a new week. The chart has 24 boxes for each sibling, or maybe it’s 32 boxes if the parents decided to use the additional but small row. And they probably did as it seems pretty easy for Twilight or Shining Armor to get rewarded as telling a joke and even sharing an apple were already enough for acknowledgment. How would the parents know if either of them shared anything if the sharing (or anything else that was nice) happened way out of their sight? Sure, Twilight or Shining Armor could mention what they did, but taking advantage of the parents’ trust could also be easy if one of them was feeling too competitive. Spike mentions that he wanted to be part of the competition so he could feel like part of the family. Too bad he apparently never asked for his inclusion. Shining Armor wants to meet at the Canterlot Castle for one final showdown for the toy crown, which looks more like it’s made of crumpled paper, but whatever. Oh, I mean “Celestia’s” Castle, as in the episode acts like she actually matters to the show. Twilight and Spike arrive at the castle, and they encounter SA as well as the alicorn sisters. I’ll admit that it’s nice seeing a bit more interaction between Twilight and SA as the show hardly did anything with SA despite having such an important connection to the main character. One might say that Twilight’s parents are also important in her life, but there was much more fanfare during SA’s introductory episode, and he didn’t do anything truly noteworthy in said episode. It’s also too bad Twilight’s relationship with a certain other major pony never got any real attention. Then again, considering how late this episode came in, I can’t say I ever understood the writers’ approach toward the show. Celestia wants to amp up the castle’s security since Sombra was able to take over so easily back at the beginning of the season. Luna apparently disagreed with Celestia’s approach, and they both grimace at each other. However, I don’t like this scene nearly as much as I wanted to because their relationship never got explored, and no, their two focus episodes don’t count as they were hardly sufficient. That’s too bad as their expressions toward each other are so comically nasty and thus amusing. Celestia gave the task of amping up security to the Captain of the Guard, Shining Armor. I’ve read various comments online about the guards being useless against threats, so any improvements attempted will ultimately be for nothing. While that’s a fair point, there is a much bigger problem, which is the alicorn sisters being even more useless during a crisis. So, it’s not like Luna’s suggestion of the sisters amping up security themselves would have ever worked out. Anyways, SA has (supposedly) greatly improved the castle’s security and challenges Twilight to try and break in, steal the crown, and then break out all without getting caught or setting off any kind of alarm SA has put in place. Celestia muses that this challenge will help expose the weak points in their security, and the weak points are obvious. The alicorn sisters and the guards are not the main characters, so they will always fail to repel any incoming threats no matter what they try. Having the Mane 6 or even just Starlight stand guard would already be a better form of defense. SA mentions getting shards of Chrysalis’s anti-magic throne to repel magical threats, and I wonder how Star Swirl was able to lift the shards with his own magic. Would having those shards also affect magical ponies inside the castle? What if Celestia or Luna wanted to cast a spell in case a threat somehow got past all that security? Then again, it’s not like anything they cast would ever work. Twilight relays the “new and improved” Canterlot Castle security to her friends and concocts a plan to break through all of the obstacles SA has put up by making use of her friends’ main talents. Unfortunately for Twilight, Spike coughs up a letter from SA, who has apparently already figured out Twilight’s plans and presumably countermeasures for them. SA has hardly appeared in the show, so that would also mean he hardly or hasn’t interacted with Twilight’s friends on-screen. That means he only got to know Twilight’s friends off-screen, and while I’m not against characters learning certain things off-screen, using that excuse can feel like a bit of a cheat since it also becomes too easy to rely on that excuse. I mean, would showing him interact with some of Twilight’s friends really be too much to ask for? Oh wait, I forgot what kind of show this was. Twilight initially feels discouraged about trying to break into the Canterlot Castle, but Rarity steps in and suggests that each pony come up with their own method of breaking in while also suggesting that Twilight do nothing because those are all things that SA didn’t anticipate. If we had to be realistic here, no security will ever be truly perfect, but the good kinds of security would be able to handle various kinds of threats. In other words, it’s not like Shining Armor’s security would be tailored to handle only Twilight’s plans or moves that SA think the Mane 6 would likely resort to. And now the new plan comes into action. AJ distracts the guards with a song as “Apple Chord”, who may or may not have been AJ’s alter ego at some point. Interestingly, the episode suggests that AJ made up the “Apple Chord” stuff as she was being shifty when questioned by RD. SA immediately recognizes AJ, but it looks like AJ’s plan to distract the guards still worked as she has still shifted much of their attention onto herself. The castle also has giant fans to blow away anyone who tries flying to the castle. RD gives Fluttershy, Pinkie, and Spike a diagram of the new wind patterns around the castle and tells them where they should go. Okay, two things. First, the diagram of the wind patterns came from the Wonderbolts, who apparently figured out a way to get past those blowing fans, so shouldn’t SA have contacted them or some professional flyer about improving the security in the sky? And second, what if a powerful unicorn lifts herself with her own magic like Starlight did? Would the fans be able to blow her away? Actually, it might not even come to that as the unicorn could also disable the fans. At the very least, the castle itself does have some “anti-magic” rocks. Fluttershy and Spike are dropped off into the Canterlot Castle while Pinkie offers to keep watch from above. Pinkie actually wanted to keep watch from outer space at first, but that didn’t take as her hot-air balloon didn’t take too long to pop. This also got attention from the guards AJ was distracting, and she was consequently able to use this chance to grab one of the royal guard’s medal which is needed to open the doors inside the castle. It looks like none of those guards noticed that one of them was missing his medal. Meanwhile, Rarity (in her outfit from “Rarity Investigates!”) and RD try going to a bar to ask for information about “secret passages” to Canterlot Castle. However, the bar is unexpectedly closed, but their trip wasn’t in vain as a pony who may or may not work there was able to point out a “secret passage” to the castle that happened to be close by. That’s not really a “secret passage” then, but if the guards know that, then they would know to amp up security around such a vulnerable area. Luna then conveniently appears with another guard to take over this next shift, and that new guard happens to be Fluttershy’s brother, Zephyr Breeze. He was kind of a loser and a chump in season 6, so I don’t know how he was able to get this job unless the writers are just acknowledging the fact that the guards suck so much that even someone like him gets to be one of them. I mean, they even made a dumbass joke about the alicorn sisters being useless throughout the show at the beginning of the season. However, the end of the episode will reveal why he was in that position. Seriously though, I could see Celestia being stupid enough to think that he would be good at the job. Rainbow Dash recalls Zephyr Breeze having a crush on her, and Rarity takes advantage of that fact to distract him. Rarity then takes down the bricks used to seal up the “secret passage”, and she and RD easily slip past Zephyr Breeze and get in. Next, we cut to Spike and Fluttershy getting in to the throne room, who get in after Spike cuts a hole through the stained-glass window. Too bad the guards or the sisters didn’t come up with a plan to prevent that kind of break-in. The duo tries to approach the crown only to encounter a goose who awaken the other sleeping goose, and the duo ultimately fall into the trapdoor that SA set next to the crown. Too bad nobody came up with a plan to handle the geese in case they tried to holler. It also seems that the trapdoor only leads to an underground chamber. How is any of this supposed to help against magical threats who can just blast their way out or around? Twilight becomes concerned as the new plan doesn’t appear to have worked out at all with Pinkie being unable to watch from above, AJ is no longer distracting the guards (looks like the guards grew bored of her performances), and the others haven’t returned with the crown. Twilight also says that she hasn’t heard anything from the ponies inside the castle, but phones, walkie-talkies, or anything similar don’t exist in their world, so what do they use for distant and immediate communication? I guess a letter from Spike might be one option, but that requires some paper. Otherwise, Rainbow Dash and Rarity don’t have any way to communicate with the other groups. Maybe this oversight was meant to show that this new plan was poorly thought out. While Fluttershy and Spike are trapped underground, they are unexpectedly freed after RD pulls a lever. RD and Rarity are lost and have no idea how to navigate through the “secret passage” as RD was just pulling levers to see what would happen next, so these 4 characters eventually decide to return to the surface and formulate a new and better plan for breaking in. They tell Twilight that almost all parts of this new plan failed (AJ did get a guard’s medal), and Spike suggests going with Twilight’s original plan because that’s easier to work with. And they do just that. Pinkie throws a party to distract the guards (those are some pretty terrible guards if they could get distracted so easily by a party or a performance), Rarity creates a guard costume (Twilight’s original plan had Rarity creating multiple guard costumes, but she must’ve realized that the other ponies have their own roles to play) and disguises herself to move among the guards more easily (too bad the guards also didn’t know that there shouldn’t be a guard that looks like her), Applejack bucks through some boulders blocking another “secret passage” with Maud’s help, and RD flies herself and Fluttershy through the blowing fans. Rarity, RD, and Fluttershy enter the throne room which sets off the geese before Fluttershy could calm them down, and that means SA will be aware of some intruders in the throne room. Spike, Twilight, and AJ finally arrive at the throne room through another “secret passage”, and everything seems to have gone too well. Twilight tries to take the crown, but SA as well as the alicorn sisters suddenly reveal themselves, much to Twilight’s disappointment. It looks like SA didn’t have any countermeasures to Twilight’s plans after all. He just wanted her to think that her plan worked so he could snatch the victory away from her at the very last moment to make his own victory taste even sweeter. SA seems to have won this contest as Twilight can’t escape with the crown and without getting caught, and I honestly wonder if either of them would be desperate enough to resort to combat. Suddenly, Spike reveals that he has the crown as well as his cohort in his master plan, Luna, and she is even petting a goose “evilly” in this scene. I can’t help but wonder if the writers knew this would become a meme. I feel like I should be amused by this scene, but I’m indifferent. I guess I’m just too disappointed that this shit is one of the best things to come from Luna. I’m actually not against having this scene, but this scene only serves to remind me that the writers were never productive with Luna. Spike then explains his plan to the other characters. He noticed that Luna was unhappy about Celestia disregarding her input, so he decided to work with Luna to take the crown for himself while also proving Luna’s point to Celestia about handling the security themselves. It turns out using Zephyr Breeze was part of Spike’s plan. Spike knew about Rarity and RD’s approach, so he tried to make sure that they would be able to get into the “secret passage” by bringing in a twat like him, and he knew the duo would get lost when trying to travel through the passage. Essentially, Spike counted on almost every part of the new plan to fail (he even tore the hot-air balloon) during the first attempted break-in so Twilight would be forced to enact her original plan. Spike also knew that Shining Armor would want Twilight to think that she had won, so Luna teleported the crown to Spike while Shining Armor brags about thinking he had won. Talk about irony. Celestia admits that she didn’t account for another weak point in SA’s security, which is handling a threat that is already in the castle itself. The alicorn sisters exchange some irritated smiles at each other, and I’m still indifferent about this. I’m sure the looks the sisters gave each other in the episode also became memes, and it’s too bad that’s all they amounted to. Spike is ultimately crowned as the winner of the competition, and the ponies all end the episode with a group hug. I honestly didn’t really care for this episode likely due to my lack of any genuine interest in the show. It doesn’t help that the episode kept reminding me about one of the stupider parts of the show. Showing the characters getting involved with a heist (and probably the main reason this episode was made) as well as some crazy plans is fine, but it’s too bad the crap about security serves as the backdrop of the episode. I bet there are viewers who poke fun at the royal guards being ineffective against threats, and that’s a fair point like I said earlier, but I will still reiterate the bigger problem. The episode ends with Luna being right and her input being necessary, but whatever point Luna wanted to make already has no weight. Episodes with major villains on a rampage are portrayed with genuine stakes, and the alicorn sisters have never been useful during any of those times, so why would/should they be useful now? I guess this just says more about the impression the show left on me, and it’s too bad this episode will be the only time Luna is ever competent. I should have just been focused only on the fact that the Mane 6 try to pull off some crazy plans only for another crazy plan to have been happening right under their noses, but I’m already taking some time to bitch about the stuff I don’t like about the show. I probably would have liked an episode like this more if it didn’t include the sisters or maybe anything about the security forces of Equestria. Better yet, the show could have avoided those problems, but excluding the sisters would be the better move at this point. I suppose I can still mention some things episode handled well besides seeing how the Mane 6 approached their new plan and then seeing it go wrong, one of which is how Spike viewed his relationship not just with Twilight, but her family as well. We’ve seen their relationship with each other over the show being familial and professional, but the episode now gives more insight into the former. We know in season 1 that Twilight knew Spike since the latter’s birth, and now we get to see more of their childhood together. During the flashback showing the Sibling Supreme competition, Spike was shown drawing his own gold stars under the chart with Twilight and SA. Not only does he see himself as part of the family (and the others probably do as well), but it’s a bit more specific here as he also sees himself as their younger brother. He also expresses disappointment about them not apparently seeing him the same way during a conversation with Fluttershy. It would seem that Twilight and Shining Armor simply saw him as a family member, so it’s more of a generic position to them. Spike was even a bit hurt when Twilight unknowingly brushes him off after he called himself a little brother. Now, they fully acknowledge Spike as a child they spent time with and also grow up with as children fillies. Spike even showed how well he knew them as he knew the moves they would make and how to convince Twilight to use her original plan so they would ultimately and unwittingly carry out his own plan. It may be a bit late to show SA’s relationship and a bit more of Spike’s relationship with Twilight, but at least the show never fucked them up in the first place. On that note, I could also mention the episode giving some insight into Twilight and Shining Armor’s relationship. Their rivalry over the crown felt genuine as they both showed strong feelings toward it, and it’s nice to see that they would rather get along with each other than fight over a toy. I’ll even admit that there’s some amusement to seeing Twilight and SA acting a bit childish when talking about the crown to reinforce the idea that it meant a lot to them in the past. And at least it’s nice to see Shining Armor be somewhat competent even though we don’t get to see that more often. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the only time he was somewhat competent. It’s a bit of a shame that the two didn’t get more interactions after this episode as the MLP wiki states that he doesn’t make a major appearance after this episode.
  11. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    There was something else about "The Beginning of the End" that also bugged me, but I didn't mention it earlier because I couldn't quite put my thoughts into words. When the state of Equestria worsened as Sombra's hold strengthened, the episode tried to convey that the main characters (especially Twilight) were in over their heads, and the end of the episode pretty much confirms as such since Twilight was given some actual preparation time before becoming the new ruler of Equestria. However, Equestria has been in some deep shit multiple times, so why was this case so bad compared to the others? Maybe it's because Twilight and friends were the ones who had to prove themselves capable, especially without additional help. It's true that even though Equestria has been in deep shit multiple times, that doesn't mean one should think less of this event. However, that leads to another problem I have. The episode itself even noted that the Mane 6 don't ever get additional help against supervillains. Celestia, Luna, and Star Swirl stepping in late into the episode was supposed to confirm that the Mane 6 did in fact need help after all, but their participation (at least from the sisters) felt arbitrary instead as they finally decide to be of some use in this episode when they could have easily participated in other 2-part episodes. I guess what I'm saying is that the episode's attempt to emphasize the gravity of the Mane 6 (or at least Twilight) being unprepared for bigger responsibilities and not yet ready to take the princesses' places felt hollow. Hopefully, this makes some sense.
  12. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    That's also contradictory as Twilight (or at least Twilight and friends) are the most important characters, at least in Equestria. "The Cutie Re-Mark" essentially dug (another) grave for the show. I'm gonna be petty and say that the bolded stuff were hardly done well. As in, what was the point of wrapping up those "arcs" if they were meaningless from the start? Yeah, Twilight was learning about friendship throughout the show, but that's hardly why she is just as good as (as in, better than) the other princesses. When you mentioned those new elements, I'm guessing that they ended up getting hardly any exploration. I find it hard to believe that the School of Friendship wasn't used much in the show, but it's not like I'll ever watch the remaining episodes of season 8 and 9 to form my own opinion.
  13. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I do think the show can be competent as most of its single episodes show, and then we have the two-part episodes. And "Magic Sheep". It didn't need to be more ambitious to be good, and those single episodes are still examples of that. I haven't read the comics in a long time. Can you explain this? I don't know if Lauren Faust sticking around would've helped the show if the first two seasons were anything to go by as the show still didn't play enough with the more interesting ideas it brought up. Then again, the show has been without her for almost its entire run that the show could easily turn out much differently than it is now, but there isn't too much of a point over wondering what could have been since they never happened and could just as easily turned out wasteful and clueless for any reason I haven't seen the end of season 9 yet, and I still have a few episodes to go over before I get to that point. However, I won't be going through those episodes very quickly as rambling about MLP isn't a priority for me right now. If you really want, you can express your thoughts anyways as I don't mind spoilers, though I'm not sure if there's much to spoil. I haven't read too much about the final episodes yet as I'm not terribly curious about how the show ends, and there's not much of a point in doing so as I know I would never be satisfied with how the show ended.
  14. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I talked about the season 2 finale in these two posts. You may be surprised to see that I liked the season 5 premiere, though I wouldn't call it great. The only other one I would say that I liked is the season 1 premiere. However, that review isn't expressed as well as I would like (and I think I'll also say that for almost all of my early reviews before I wrote them in a more rambly style), but it still more less sums up my thoughts about the season 1 premiere. I liked it, but I wouldn't say it's great. It's decent at best. The main reason I liked it was because part 1 set up the characters and gave a good starting points to get to know the characters in one episode. Part 2 was rushed, and this especially shows with the speed in which the Mane 6 pass through Nightmare Mon's obstacles, but it still showed the Mane 6 being friends with each other. Or at least start being friends with each other by helping each other and being there for each other. The season 7 finale deserves some kind of mention. I wouldn't call it great mainly because it came too late, but I might have actually liked it if an episode like that came much earlier into the show. As for the rest of the 2-parters, I either hate them or am indifferent to them. I think the season 5 finale also deserves a special mention as it's my least favorite episode of the entire show as well as my pick for the worst television episodes I've ever seen. I also feel like plugging in my review of the Luna's season 5 episode, which is written in that old style I mentioned. The short version is that I hated it, and that episode is my second least favorite episode of the entire show. The reason I hate that episode so much is that it embodies the worst aspects of the show, which is that it has a great idea and an underused character that was ripe for expansion, but the episode does nothing with either of them. It even had the gall to exclude Princess Celestia when there was no reason to. Not helping is that this episode was a prime opportunity to not only get her involved, but it was also an opportunity to show the sisters' relationship, and they somehow manage to waste that.
  15. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    That's probably a better question, especially if Tirek was imprisoned while in his weakened form. That only adds to the idea that Discord wasn't needed to deal with a weakened Tirek. As for the season 4 finale, @Metemponychosis and I hated it. I don't know if he put his opinions somewhere on this site, but my review of it is in two posts. I don't remember too much of season 4 as I only rewatched and rambled about the opener, finale, and "Three's a Crowd". And even if I were to think well of season 4 minus those episodes, the comment I made earlier today still holds.